More cash or service will fold

Latest breaking news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournall on Twitter

Latest breaking news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournall on Twitter

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A charity which provides a transport system for elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents will fold next year unless it can find more cash

Ely and Soham Dial a Ride has warned that if it can’t secure sufficient funding or spport its service will be would up in March.

In a statement, the charity’s board said: “The board of Ely Soham dial a ride reluctantly voted to move towards winding up the organisation on March 31, 2015.

“However the board agreed that during that time all efforts should be made to explore possible options that would enable the service to continue.

“Board members, who include the founder of the service, want to work with the staff, members of the scheme and the local community to try to find possible solutions to funding the service.

“Ely and Soham Dial a Ride was set up to provide accessible community transport. This kind of service is never able to cover the costs so we have developed a variety of methods of funding this service and supporting an excursion programme, including through grants and successfully bidding for contracts.”

The Witchford-based charity said over the past two years its services had been hit by some significant reductions in funding including the removal of the concessionary bus pass,the district and county councils withdrawing grants, the removal of discretionary rate relief by the district council, and the reduction in the bus service operators’ grant.

Despite protests, Cambridgeshire County Council voted to axe its funding for the service.

A spokesman said the authority had had to find 
£32 million of savings as the Government cut its funding by seven per cent and the council had seen an increase on demand for its services from a growing population.

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